How does having a youth record affect me?
Question & AnswerHow does having a youth record affect me?
4. Check that your records are sealed
Sometimes records aren't erased or sealed as soon as they should be. To find out if your records have been erased or sealed, ask the police for a criminal background check. If your records have been erased or sealed, they should not show up on a criminal background check.
Getting a background check
To get a criminal background check, go to your local police or to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). You might even be able to do this online. Even though a youth record is not a criminal record, police services sometimes call criminal background checks “criminal record checks”. You will have to fill out a form and pay a fee.
Youth records and adult records must always be kept separately. If the police find a youth record during your background check, they must create 2 separate reports:
- A background check report that shows only the youth records. They can only give this report to you. You should not show this report to anyone except a lawyer.
- A background check report that shows any other records, and doesn't mention the youth records. This report can be shared with an employer if you've given permission.
If your youth record is erased or sealed, you should get a “clear” background check.
If your youth record should have been erased or sealed, but it's still showing up on your background check, ask the police to erase or seal the record. If the police don't agree, you can get help from a youth justice lawyer.
Ask for a record suppression
If your access period is still open, the background check will show your youth records. But you can ask the police to suppress the record. Suppressing a record means that it is sealed before the end of the access period so that it won't show up on a background check.
It's up to the police to decide whether they will suppress your youth record. They might do this if they think your youth record unfairly impacts your attempts to find a job. A youth justice lawyer may be able to help you with this process.